Chief interpreter at French foreign ministry (1781). Secretary of legation (1787) and chargé d’affaires (1789) in St. Petersburg; dismissed because his republicanism offended Catherine the Great. Ambassador to the United States (1793), where he flouted American neutrality in the European war by outfitting several privateers. Washington requested his recall; France issued a warrant for his arrest (1794), but Genet was granted asylum in the United States and was eventually naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Settled in New York State as a farmer and amateur scientist.
Son of Edmé-Jacques and Marie-Anne- Louise (Cardon) Genet. Married (1) Cornelia Tappen Clinton (1794). Married (2) Martha Brandon Osgood (1814). Friend of Benjamin Franklin Bache.